Their projects are:
by Taro Aoshima
The main character, hearing that his mother has died, returns to his hometown, only to find an unrecognizable townscape there and learn that his mother is alive, although she has dementia and her whereabouts are unknown. While searching for his mother he meets himself twenty years younger, aged 17, in the midst of preparations for an autumn outdoor film festival with his high school film club mates. While previewing movies with the club mates he watches a porn movie that has mingled in, and finds his unclothed mother appearing in the movie. As various hidden events of the past are revealed, he comes to confront his own trauma.
by Chie Hayakawa
PLAN 75 is a governmental policy aiming to solve the population aging problem. The policy, unprecedented in the world, promotes euthanasia for people over the age of 75. The story begins in Japan a few years after the implementation of this policy. An elderly woman living alone has decided to submit herself to this system. A female writer is about to send her aged father to a euthanasia facility. A young Philippine woman has a job at a euthanasia facility disposing of deceased bodies. These three women are the main characters in the depiction of people who are caught up in this system that challenges the value of life.
by Takeshi Kogahara
A reserved male college student, FUMINAO, spends his days going to school and working at a restaurant. One day, his classmate, YUKI, takes him to a haunted tunnel infamous for a woman ghost. There, Fuminao encounters his beloved sister, NAGISA, who had died three years ago. The tunnel turns out to be the spot of Nagisa’s fatal traffic accident. While she is no longer with him, Fuminao finds himself fumbling in the dark in hopes of seeing her. In the pitch-dark tunnel, Fuminao recalls his days with Nagisa.
Seven years ago. The countryside of Nagasaki, Japan. Having lost their mother at a young age, Fuminao and Nagisa lived with just their father. In the place of their busy father, Fuminao took care of Nagisa. They needed each other more than anyone else. With time, Fuminao realized his affection for Nagisa exceeded sibling love. He struggled with his emotions. To distance himself, he entered an university in Tokyo. Fuminao’s determination of not returning home prompts Nagisa to surprise him with a visit. During her bus ride to Tokyo, a fatal accident occurs. At Nagisa’s funeral, Fuminao looks through Nagisa’s wallet to find a photo of all four family members together.
In the darkness of the tunnel, Fuminao spends nights wandering around looking for Nagisa. But she never makes an appearance. In the end, Fuminao is caught by the police and finds out that the “ghost” is a crazed mother of a teenager who had also died in the accident. She had wandered around and was mistaken as a ghost. The police warns Fuminao not to be the next “ghost,” but he keeps returning to the tunnel.
One day, Fuminao sees the family of a victim of the same accident praying at the tunnel. Fuminao recalls the conversation with Nagisa about afterlife, and their promise to meet at home if either of them dies and becomes a ghost, to prove that there is an afterlife. Nagisa wished to meet mother, father, and Fuminao all together. For the first time in three years, Fuminao decides to return home.
At home, his father warmly welcomes Fuminao and tells him that his mother and Nagisa are happy about his return. Midnight, Fuminao awakes to the summer heat. He drinks tea in the kitchen. Suddenly, the wind chime near the garden rings. It is the one that young Fuminao had made for Nagisa, since she always came home through the garden. The wind chime sways. Fuminao stares at the lonely garden. Once again, the wind chime rings with more certainty. Focusing his glance on the empty space, Fuminao quietly calls, “Nagisa.”
NHK will host the seventh annual Screenwriters Workshop in Tokyo in August 2018, inviting a creative adviser who has been great mentor at the Sundance Labs. To lead this year’s workshop, we are honored to have writer/producer, Mr. Erik Jendresen whose projects include Emmy Award winning HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, Killing Lincoln, and The Conversation.